Best Lures for Wahoo: The Tropical Hunter

February 18, 2021

Best Lures for Wahoo: The Tropical Hunter

The Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri) has an elongated body, a large mouth with numerous rows of razor-sharp teeth. They have an unbelievably powerful tale and a voracious appetite. Well known amongst sports fishermen, they hit the lure really hard. Wahoo has alarming speed, a never say die attitude, and high-quality meat. In Hawaii, Wahoo is known as “Ono” and is considered one of the most prized and valued game fish. So what are the best lures for Wahoo?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll go over our top 7 best lures for Wahoo as well as how to catch them.

Let’s get started.

Top 7 Best Lures for Wahoo


1. Halco Laser Pro 190


Widely recognized as one of the world’s top bluewater trolling lures, the Laser Pro 190 can be trolled at various speeds. When targeting Wahoo, you want to be around the 6.5-knot mark.

The Laser Pro 190 features the unique Bullet Proof Bib securing system. These are heavy-duty lures and will stand up to big fish time after time. When targeting Wahoo (and other sharp-toothed fish like Mackerel and Barracuda), pair snap or super snap traces with your Laser Pro 190. This will ensure you won’t be bitten off.

The Laser Pro 190 can be trolled up to a speed of 11 knots and offers 3 diving depths:

  • Standard = 1m
  • Deep Diver = 2m+
  • Crazy Deep XDD = 6m

2. Halco Max 190


The Halco Max 190 has a highly streamlined design and consequently offers outstanding casting capabilities. The Halco Max 190 is a bigger version of the Max 130 and can be used to either troll, cast, or jig. This lure is extremely versatile, weighs 155 g, and can be trolled at speeds up to 12 knots.

The Halco Max 190 is designed for maximum hook exposure on strike and has a slender tail section. Now rigged with a single, super sharp 7/0 online hook, which offers better hook-sets and makes handling the fish easier.


3. Slot Head High-Speed Trolling Lures


Slot head High speed trolling lures from the Calcutta winning collection are their most popular and best-selling Wahoo lures. The lure weighs in at 1.5 lb’s, which allows it to be trolled at high speeds. It is designed with a large 3-inch chrome-plated brass head.


Attached to the head are 8 jets that produce a large smoke cloud. Jetted Bullet Head Lures come standard with 11/0 super sharp stainless steel hooks and are rigged with a 400-pound leader. They are available in two string colors, red/black and purple-black. They also work great as Mahi Mahi lures, black marlin lures, albacore tuna lures, and sailfish lures.


4. Avatar Wahoo Rattlers


Wahoo rattlers are deadly lures and are designed to be trolled at speeds up to 25 knots. This lure is rigged with a 6 foot, 400 lb stainless steel cable, is available in a 10 or 12-inch version, and weighs around 1.9 ounces. We’ve seen success catching Blackfin and Big Eye Tuna with these too.


5. Jetted Bullet Head Wahoo Lures


Jetted Bullet Head Wahoo Lures are designed to be trolled at speeds up to 15 knots but remain in the water. It has a large 4- inch head, which is made from copper and is chrome plated.

There are 5 jets on the head to enable these relatively high trolling speeds. It comes rigged with a 400 lb, 6-foot cable leader, weighs around 1.5 lbs, is 14 inches long, and is equipped with two super sharp stainless steel 10/0 hooks.


6. Pack Variety Tournament Wahoo Fishing Lures


This lure pack contains a variety of Wahoo fishing lures that you could use. We’ve seen success with all five of these lures.

  • Wahoo Eliminator High-Speed Trolling Lure
  • Wahoo Express Stainless Steel Cable Rigged Fishing Lure
  • Wahoo Mistress
  • Wahoo Hooker High-Speed Fishing Lure
  • Wahoo Candy

7. Wahoo Express Trolling Lures


This Lure features a 3-inch long silver and purple holographic head equipped with a large moving doll eye to provide extra flash. Its face is concave in shape and produces a large amount of smoke.

The Wahoo Express Trolling Lure is 13 inches long and features double skirts made from premium vinyl, and is available in 2 shades of purple with silver specs to provide flash.


Is Wahoo Good to Eat?

Wahoo is delicious when prepared correctly. Although it is versatile, it has a low fat content and benefits from cooking methods that suit this type of fish.

You can compare the taste to that of an ultra-light lean tuna with firm flesh. It’s also very similar to Mahi Mahi. Wahoo can be broiled or grilled and can be marinated to enhance the mild flavor.

Nutritional Facts

  • Protein 19.3 g
  • Cholesterol 64 g
  • Calories 167
  • Fat Calories 15
  • Saturated Fat 2.4 g
  • Total Fat 9.4 g
  • Sodium: 78 mg
  • Omega 3: N/A

Tasty Wahoo Recipes

Wahoo “ono” is great for eating fishing. Below are two simple recipes to try next time the fishing is good:

Grilled Wahoo

Ingredients 

  • 3 X Large Wahoo Fillets
  • ¼ x cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ x cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  • Carefully place your delicious Wahoo fillets into a large airtight container or plastic bag (Ziploc if possible)
  • Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the Wahoo Fillets
  • Allow the fish to marinate for approximately 20 minutes
  • On a large hot skillet, grill the fillets for just 3-4 minutes on each side
  • Be cautious not to overcook the meat
  • Once the fish has been removed from the heat, it will continue to cook for another 2 minutes
  • Serve and enjoy

Baked Wahoo Fillets with Mayonnaise and Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup Fresh Dill
  • 1x cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 x cups Mayonnaise
  • 3 x Limes, sliced round and thin
  • 2 x sweet onion, slice round and thin

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the dill, parmesan, and mayonnaise
  • Place the thinly sliced onion neatly out on the bottom of a large casserole dish
  • Place the Wahoo fillets on top of the onions and lightly spread mayonnaise over the fillets (don’t overdo the mayonnaise)
  • Garnish with thin slices of lime
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook for around 20 -25 minutes
  • Be cautious not to overcook
  • Serve and enjoy

Can You Eat Raw Wahoo?

Wahoo sashimi can be delicious. However, it can be almost tasteless at times. Therefore it makes for a great introduction to raw fish dishes. The meat is extremely light and best enjoyed with wasabi, pickled ginger, and soya sauce. Wahoo needs to be properly bled just like you would a tuna and should be cooked two days after being caught.

Tips for Catching Wahoo

There are numerous ways to target Wahoo:

High-Speed Trolling Wahoo Lures

This technique can be extremely effective when targeting Wahoo and other big game fish. The types of Deepwater High-Speed Trolling lures that are being manufactured today are extremely versatile, realistic, and robust. High-speed trolling also allows you to cover a much greater body of water, compared to slow trolling dead or live bait.

Slow Trolling with Dead Bait

Slow trolling dead bait can also be effective when targeting Wahoo. Your bait must be well presented and well-weighted. Trolling the right areas, combined with the beautiful oils and smells that your bait is releasing, you may just entice a beast from the shadows. Generally, you can troll dead bait at a higher speed, and one can cover more water when compared to trolling live bait (it’s not much faster but does make a difference)

Slow Trolling with Live Bait

Slow Trolling Live bait is a great way to target Wahoo and, where possible, use bait that the Wahoo are feeding on at that time. No matter how veracious or large a predatory fish is, they will always go for the easy meal, which requires the least amount of energy. Live bait are constantly fighting your line (and currents) and, while constantly trying to escape, gives the impression of an injured fish.

Vertical Jigging

Vertical Jigging can be extremely effective when targeting Wahoo, they offer loads of flash and can be fished at any depth. Try jigging around structure and constantly adjust the speed and veracity of your retrieval.

In the US, Wahoo are popularly known as “hoo” and are successfully targeted with live bait. In the winter months, Wahoo are caught around gas and oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

More Facts About Wahoo

The sides of the Wahoo are silvery with a pattern of vertical blue lines and a blue back. These beautiful colors fade quickly after death. Compared to the Spanish or King Mackerel, the upper and lower jaw of the Wahoo has a more torpedo-like appearance.

Wahoo is found in tropical and sub-tropical waters throughout the world. They feed mainly on squid and other species of fish. These include round herring, porcupine fish, butterfish, and frigate mackerel. Wahoo typically have to compete with tuna for food but have the ability to feed on larger prey by rendering them into smaller pieces with their razor-sharp teeth.

Wahoo can be found near baitfish, reefs, pinnacles, ledges, bird activity, and color lines. They are generally surface feeders, constantly moving between these spots. Work a few of them at a time to increase your chances. Now that we know where they found, where they hunt, and what they eat. 

Conclusion

Catching a Wahoo should be on the top of every angler’s “To Catch” list. They are incredibly beautiful with amazing colors. They won’t make it too easy for you, and you will have to be on the top of your game.

There are numerous ways of targeting Wahoo, and if successful, the reward of pristine, high-quality flesh awaits you. Once again, please pay attention to bag limits and respect the ocean and everything in it. We hope you enjoyed this article on the best lures for Wahoo.

 Happy Hunting!

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